One day, a ship carrying purebred Arabian horses crashed along the coast of the Indian region of Marwar. Seven horses survived and were soon caught by the locals, who subsequently began to cross them with indigenous Indian ponies. So, seven strangers from a sunken ship marked the beginning of a unique breed of Marvari …
The ancient Indian legend sounds, although from a scientific point of view, the history of the origin of this unique breed is somewhat different. Looking at the photo of Marwari, you understand that, indeed, it was not without Arab blood.
According to scientists, the blood of Mongolian breeds and horses from the countries bordering on India: Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan flow in the veins of these horses.
Peculiarities and habitat of the Marwari horse
The history of Marwari originates in the Middle Ages. The special Rajput class, in particular the Rathor clan, who lived in western India, was engaged in breeding and preserving this breed.
The result of a rigid selection of selection was the ideal military horse — hardy, unpretentious and elegant. Marvari’s warhorse could do without drinking for a long time, being content only with the sparse vegetation of desert and hot Rajasthan, and at the same time cover fairly large distances along the sand.
The description of the breed should start with the most important highlight in their appearance — the unique shape of the ears, which no other horse has in the world anymore. Wrapped in and in contact with the tips, these ears made the breed recognizable. Indeed, the Marwari breed is difficult to confuse with any other.
Marwar horses are beautifully composed: they have graceful and long legs, expressed withers, proportional to the body of the neck. Their head is big enough, with a straight profile.
Famous ears can be up to 15 cm long and rotated 180 °. The height at the withers of this breed varies depending on the region of origin, and is in the range of 1.42-1.73 m.
The skeleton of a horse is formed in such a way that the shoulder joints are located at a smaller angle to the legs than in other breeds. This feature allows the animal not to get stuck in the sand and not to lose speed when moving on such heavy ground.
Due to the structure of the shoulders, Marwari have a soft and smooth ride that any rider will appreciate. Marvari’s hooves are naturally very hard and strong, so it is not necessary to shoe them.
A peculiar gait, which in the north-west of India, in Rajasthan, called the “rovaal”, has become another distinctive feature of the Marwar horses. This congenital amble is very comfortable for the rider, especially in desert conditions.
The excellent hearing, which also distinguishes this breed favorably, allowed the horse to know in advance about the imminent danger and notify his rider about it.
As for the suit, the most common are the red and bay marvari. Pinto and gray horses are the most expensive. Indians are a superstitious people, for them even the color of an animal has a definite meaning.
Thus, the black horse of Marwari bears misfortune and death, and the owner of white socks and marks on the forehead — on the contrary, is considered happy. White horses are special, they can only be used in sacred rituals.
The nature and lifestyle of the Marwari horse
According to ancient Indian epics, only the highest caste of the Kshatriyas was allowed to own a horse of the Marvari breed, ordinary people could only dream of a handsome galloping horse and imagine themselves riding only in their fantasies. Ancient Marvari walked under the saddle of the famous warriors and rulers.
The breed, which embodied the speed, endurance, beauty and intelligence, has become an integral part of the Indian army. There are credible reports that during the war with the Great Moguls, the Indians put fake trunks on their horses to the elephants of the enemy troops took them for elephants.
And yet, oddly enough, this trick worked flawlessly: an elephant let the rider so close that his horse stood on the elephant’s head, and the Indian soldier, taking advantage of the moment, hit the rider with a spear. At that time in the army of the Maharaja there were more than 50 thousand such psevdoslonyat.
There are many legends about loyalty and courage of horses of this breed. Marvari remained with the wounded master on the battlefield to the last, driving the soldiers of the enemy army away from him.
By virtue of their high intelligence, natural instinct and excellent orientation, war horses have always found their way home, carrying the fallen rider, even if they themselves were maimed.
Indian Marwari horses are easy to learn. Not a single national holiday can do without specially trained horses. Dressed in motley ethnic dresses, they perform a kind of dance in front of the public, fascinating with the smoothness and naturalness of their movements. This breed is simply created for dressage, although in addition to this, it is now used in circus performances and in sport (equestrian polo).
Marwar horses, reared among the sand hills of the Indian province of Rajasthan, not abundant in vegetation, are absolutely not picky about feed. Their ability to go without food for several days has been developed for centuries. The main thing is that the horse always has clean and fresh water, although these animals endure thirst with dignity.
Reproduction and longevity of the Marwari horse
In the wild, Marvari will not meet. They are bred by descendants of militant clans of the province of Rajasthan, and more precisely of the Marwar region, the preservation of the breed is supervised at the state level. In recent years, Marwari livestock in India has been growing steadily, which is good news. With proper care, Marwar horses live an average of 25-30 years.
It is not so easy to buy marvari in Russia, to tell the truth, it is almost impossible. In India, there is a ban on the export of these horses outside the country. An exception was made in 2000 for the American Francesca Kelly, who became the organizer of the society for the conservation of this breed, the Indigenous Horse Society of India.
Among the horsemen there are rumors that only two Marvari horses live in private stables in Russia, but how they were brought, and how legal it was, only the horses themselves and their extremely wealthy owners know.
Russian fans of these legendary horses have no choice but to visit their historic homeland as part of an equestrian tour, or to purchase a statue of a marvari “Breyer” — an exact copy of a pedigree horse from a famous American company. And, of course, hope that someday this living treasure of Rajasthan will be available for sale in the Russian Federation.